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DrFee
DrFee, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 437
Experience:  I help people overcome anxiety and enjoy life again.
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My 16 year old son is constantly on the computer or smart phone.

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My 16 year old son is constantly on the computer or smart phone. His whole life, mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and academically is compromised by his "addiction." I have taken away the computers, video games, and phones in the past. He just hacks into my computer or goes on school library computer. HELP!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  DrFee replied 2 years ago.

DrFee :

Hello! Please remember that my response is for information only, we are not establishing a therapeutic relationship.


 

DrFee :

What happened during/after the camp that you sent him to?


 

DrFee :

Are you available to chat?


 

Customer:

It is a boys summer camp in Wisconsin and there is no electricity. My son returns from camp, begins school with a laptop and picks up where he left off.

Customer:

I am available to chat

Expert:  DrFee replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
sorry, didn't click accept after I posted. can we continue?
Expert:  DrFee replied 2 years ago.

It looks like some of our chat got cut off.

Internet/computer addiction is identified as a real addiction. It's generally treated using multiple approaches 1. Limiting Internet use 2. Involving the teenager in other activities and social relationships 3. Addressing any underlying issues that may be contributing to the need to escape (divorce, move, death, difficulty in social relationships just to name of few of the many possibilities) 4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to examine beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors toward internet use and other situations contributing.

Have you tried to limit his computer use (rather than just cutting off) and how did that go?

Is there any major change/loss/difficulty that he is facing?

Does he have social issue?

Here are some links regarding CBT -- www.mindovermood.com

www.nacbt.org/whatiscbt.htm

There are also some therapists who specialize in internet addiction.

Please follow up ---

Expert:  DrFee replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I am sorry that our chat malfunctioned. We can continue in this format.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He says he has friends but they are people he plays internet games with. He has never met these "friends" in person. He has no social life. No divorce, death, move but, I never see him socialize with friends. He has isolated himself to the computer.
Expert:  DrFee replied 2 years ago.

Then is sounds like he is not developing friendships at school. That might be the issue to address. Even if he were playing video games in person with other boys from school, that would be a huge step up from playing with people that he's never met.

Does he see that there is an issue or does he think everything is OK?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is not an average 10th grader......he is in college. He is a walking encyclopedia and claims that he is not addicted as there is "no such thing as addiction to video games or computer use." He looks and behaves as an addict. He cannot control his computer use.
Expert:  DrFee replied 2 years ago.

That is an usual challenge --he's not going to be able to relate to college students, and he's going to have difficulty with peers his own age. One of the difficulties of being so intelligent can be the belief that one has accurate self knowledge. I'm guessing that he also has trouble adhering to limits you set because he thinks he's more mature/grown up that he actually is. It's easy to confuse intelligence with maturity.

I normally don't recommend therapy for teens who are unwilling to go, but maybe you can look for a therapist who is particularly talented with working with teens --I've known some who can get the most difficult, most defensive teenager to open up and talk.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would love a referral. At this point, I would welcome an intervention because I WANT MY SON BACK!
Expert:  DrFee replied 2 years ago.

What city/state do you live in? I can certainly give you a starting point if I cannot recommend a specific person.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Delray Beach, Florida
Expert:  DrFee replied 2 years ago.

I don't personally know any therapists in Florida.

There are 7 pages of therapist profiles listed on Psychology Today, here is the profile of one who specializes in addiction:

http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_detail.php?profid=60034&sid=1339694718.234_3358&city=Delray+Beach&county=Palm+Beach&state=FL

He sounds like he works with adolescents and specifically mentioned internet addiction. He also offers a free phone consultation.

You can look at the other profiles by going to www.psychologytoday.com and inputting your city. I looked through about 3 pages and there are others who specialize in addictions, but I didn't see them mention internet or adolescents --but you still might find a good choice among them.

DrFee, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 437
Experience: I help people overcome anxiety and enjoy life again.
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